Here’s our “dark side”

Dear Jeffco,

Schools are failing!  FALSE

Unions are evil! FALSE

The failed mantra used by those who oppose funding public education (or any taxes for that matter) and just don’t want to give up! Even last night, 9 News went after the union boogeyman and us, Support Jeffco Kids!

No one actually ever bothered asking us any questions, but we figured we’d share a few facts about ourselves and SJK.

  • The amount of money we raised in 2014 – $31,433.31.
  • The amount of money we raised in 2015 – $29,543.49.
  • The number of people who have signed up to volunteer – 3510. 
  • The average donation amount we receive – $22.
  • The largest donation amount we ever received – $2000.
  • The smallest donation amount we ever received – $2.15 (from a student.)
  • The amount of money we donated to the recall – $6000.
  • We have received 3 donations from out of state – one from the mother of a Jeffco teacher, one from some people who saw us on the news and found us in a search, and one from the sister of a Jeffco volunteer. All accompanied from very kind notes – thank you!

More than 1400 t-shirts with our website on the back have been worn by people who love Jeffco Schools. Sold for $8 or $10 each out of a Jeffco home where a Jeffco kid lives.

1500 SJK bumper stickers have been sold for $1 each out of homes, purses, cars and anywhere else imaginable by real people who live in Jeffco. The first bunch were actually donated by a Jeffco mom to benefit the organization.

Approximately 800 SJK yard signs have been sold (we have more in our homes across Jeffco if you still need one!) for $10 each. Again, the first bunch was purchased by a Jeffco mom, a Jeffco dad, and a business community member (also Jeffco dad) who is married to a teacher to help SJK grow!

Donations and service projects have been made to benefit Serving Kids, The Action Center, the Arvada Food Bank, Hope for the Poor, First Book, and Staff Appreciation events.

  • The number of employees we have – 0

  • The number of paid consultants we have – 0

Not one person (other than our attorney who helped us set up the organization and answers our hundreds of questions) has ever been paid any amount of money. In fact, we all pay to volunteer. That’s what real grassroots is about!

  • The number of people on the SJK board – 3. That’s three involved Jeffco moms – Shawna, Jonna and Debbie and our information has always been on our website. We run SJK out of our homes, cars, purses and hearts.

In contrast – the Independence Institute has 35 staff members listed on their website and boasts an office in the high rent district of downtown Denver. Americans for Prosperity doesn’t list the number of employees they have but they offer Medical, Vision and Dental Insurance, Spousal Medical and Dental Insurance, Life, AD&D and Disability Insurance, 401(K) Retirement Match, 11 Paid Holidays, Christmas-New Years paid Holiday Week, Paid Time Off, Supplemental Life Insurance, Flexible Savings Account and Health Savings Account. JSF also doesn’t list their entire staff but we know of at least two paid employees, several interns who said they were paid, and several donations to campaigns, each higher than what SJK made fundraising over the entire year.

Sorry we can’t offer that, we pay in thank yous and hugs!

 

No matter what anyone wants to say, Jeffco parents and community members love our teachers, our administrators and our schools. There are unions and associations for every type of career you might choose – engineers, fire fighters, police officers, drivers, truckers, electricians, pipefitters, construction workers, accountants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, journalists, and educators! Why on earth is any organization vilifying our staff and our schools for joining together to advocate for what they believe is right for our kids and schools? The same exists in every single industry and profession!

Our Jeffco Schools staff (union members and non) are also parents, grandparents, Jeffco homeowners, and they pay taxes! Not one dime of taxpayer money goes to the teacher association – the employees can CHOOSE to send their own hard-earned money to purchase a membership. They can also purchase a membership to Costco or Sam’s or PTA or a homeowners association! They can also purchase snacks and school supplies out of their own pockets for our Jeffco kids who can’t afford it and they constantly do so! That’s their choice and really they’d be silly not to be a part of advocating for education when it impacts their own lives! Knowing what they do for our children, we’d be silly not to support them and to be grateful for it and join in with them!

Jeffco parents deserve a lot more credit as well. Those “riled-up mommies” and daddies held and continue to hold some extremely substantial careers and have impressive degrees despite having children and deciding to come together to support public education. How incredibly rude and pretentious to speak and write so condescendingly about parents when such a tremendous effort was accomplished by so many thousands of individuals!

While political parties, organizations and a handful of followers continue to let themselves get whipped into a frenzy when anonymous social media and websites post inaccurate blogs and refuse to actually sit down and watch the thousands of hours in video that shows their sources to be ridiculous and embarrassing, we’ll continue to work out of our homes and share the correct information and talk about issues while they disparage individuals.

 

While the media continues to ignore the facts that the REAL community came out in force and became advocates for our children, we know the truth and we have the facts – we were there while the media was…somewhere else? Thousands of us lined Wadsworth Boulevard, thousands of us carried petitions, thousands of us volunteered knocking on doors, thousands of us donated, hundreds of us made phone calls and sent emails, more than 110,000 signatures were gathered, and more than 115,000 people voted for the recall.


The final number: 86,000 kids

The final word: We love Jeffco Schools and we’ll be here to Support Jeffco Kids in many ways for many years!

 

There’s nothing dark about that, we Support Jeffco Kids and we always have. Happy New Year!

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Transparently yours,

Shawna and Jonna